Waiata Māori Music Awards showcase emerging artists

By Aroha Treacher
  • Australia

The Waiata Māori Music Awards are set to take place this Friday night at Hastings Sports Centre.

Now in its ninth year, the awards night has been a platform to celebrate the many achievements of Māori artists excelling in their field. 

"Friday night is going to be exciting with fresh new emerging artists coming through. We happened to find them during Māori Music Month where we basically went through Australia and New Zealand to find rangatahi talent as well as emerging talent. 

It’s definitely a platform for our people, and why not celebrate our people, we deserve it. It also encourages our emerging artists to keep going, come out of the garage be a part of this because it’s all about you guys,"  says Director of the awards, Ellison Huata.

There are 12 different categories this year. The categories and nominees are listed below.

Best NZ On Air Radio Airplay Song of the Year in Te Reo Māori Award is:

Ponga Ra - Rob Ruha

Tihei Mauri Ora - Ranea

Kakano - Awa

NZ On Air Radio Airplay Song of the Year by a Māori Artist Award:

I'm Ready - Songs of Zion

White Lines - Six60

Come with Me Pieter T featuring Jasmine

Best Māori Male Solo:

Rob Ruha

Howie Morrison Jnr


Best Māori Female Solo:

Kirsten Te Rito

Huia Hamon

Amba Holly

Best Traditional Māori Album (Tohu - Kōpae Mōteatea Hira):

Rob Ruha (Pūmau)

Kirsten Te Rito (Āiotanga)

Taki Toru (Aku Piki Kōtuku) 

Best Māori Pop Album (Tohu - Kaipūoru Māori Autaia):

Te Aorangi Smith (LIVE)

Kirsten Te Rito (Āiotanga)

Taki Toru (Aki Piki Kōtuku)

Best Music Video by a Māori Artist (TohuAtaata Māori Hira o te Tau):

Rob Ruha ft Tiki Taane, for Kariri

Ranea, for Tihei Mauri Ora

REI for Chiefs Speech

Pukana, for Maimoatia

Best Māori Urban Hip Hop/RAP/RnB Album (Tohu - Kaipūoru Māori-noho-taone Autaia):

Kirsten Te Rito (Āiotanga)

Ray Bishop (Music For Life)

Best Māori Urban Roots Album (Tohu - Kōpaeroa Autaia - Roots/Reggae):

Israel Starr (Through the Ages & Forever)

Tomorrow People (Bass & Bassinettes)

Best Song by a Māori artist (Tohu - Waiata Māori Hira):

Rob Ruha (Paremata Mene); Paua (Let Them Play)

Pukana (Maimoata)

Howie Morrison Jnr (If I Could Change My Life)

Nga Taonga Mai Tawhiti/Kirsten Te Rito (Ana Hi)

Best Māori Songwriter (Tohu - Kaitito Waiata-Māori Autaia):

Rob Ruha

Kirsten Te Rito (co-written by James Illingworth, Joe Te Rito)